DAP congratulates Joseph Pairin for overwhelming victory in Sabah State general elections

Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 18th July 1990:

DAP congratulates Joseph Pairin for overwhelming victory in Sabah State general elections

I congratulate the PBS President, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, for a great and overwhelming victory in the Sabah state general elections yesterday.

As I had said in my ceramahs in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau during the Sabah general elections campaign, the DAP has no doubt whatsoever that Joseph Pairin would be returned as Sabah Chief Minister and that the PBS would get over two-thirds majority in the Sabah state general elections.

This was why the DAP fielded seven candidates, for we believed that the DAP’s presence in the Sabah state assembly would be able to back and firm up the PBS Government in defending and promoting the constitutional rights and status of the people of Sabah especially at the Federal-State relations, as well as representing the interests and rights of the people of Sabah in the Sabah state assembly.

DAP made it very clear that the DAP fully supports the PBS to continue as Sabah State Government and Joseph Pairin Kitingan continue as Sabah Chief Minister.

DAP was fully aware that DAP candidates could only make a breakthrough if the voters of Sabah are absolutely convinced that the PBS would be returned to power with two-thirds majority. This was what the DAP had tried to convince the people in the elections campaign.

According to our analysis, all the other political parties like Berjaya, LDP, AKAR and PRS are not real contenders in the Sabah state general elections, and we have been proved right with the elimination of former leaders like Harris Salleh, James Ongkili, Mark Koding, Lim Guan Sing and even former Sabah Yang di Pertua, Robert Adnan.

Disappointment over Fung Ket Wing’s defeat

Although I am disappointed with the failure of the DAP to make a breakthrough and have a presence in the Sabah state assembly, in particular the failure of DAP Sabah Chairman, Fung Ket Wing, to win in Tanjong Papat, the DAP fully accepts the verdict of the people of Sabah.

We fully understand the special and unique circumstances of the Sabah state general elections. The events of the last two days were particularly helpful to PBS, such as the report of a Catholic priest found missing, believed to be detained under the Internal Security Act, as well as the announcement the next day that the Police would be taking action under the Internal Security Act and the Printing Press and Publication Act against the newspaper which carried the report.

The DAP reiterate that on Federal-State relationship concerning the constitutional rights and status of the people of Sabah, the PBS Government can continue to count on the support of the DAP.

DAP suggests formation of Constitutional Review Commission to effect greater and closer national integration concerning Sabah and Sarawak

The one lesson in the Sabah general elections is that 27 years after joining Malaysia in 1963, the people of Sabah had accummulated and nursed considerable grievances about their constitutional rights and status in the country.

This is not healthy for national integration, and the Barisan Nasional Federal Government and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should give serious consideration to the unhappiness and discontents of the people of Sabah, and not dismiss them as ‘anti-Federal’ or ‘anti-Malaysia’.

DAP suggests the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission to look into the unhappiness and discontents accummulated over the years, not only by the people of Sabah, but also by the people of Sarawak, to lay the basis for a sounder and healthier process of national integration, especially as the 30th anniversary of Sabah and Sarawak’s entry and creation of the Malaysian federation would be celebrated in 1993.